CM inaugurates Buddhist Circuit Building at Phodong Monastery

Mangan, 22 Aug [IPR]: Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang [Golay] today inaugurated a Buddhist Circuit Building, “Karma Tobden Denkhang,” at Goenchen Phodong Karma Thubten Tashi Chokorling (Phodong Monastery) in North Sikkim at a function also attended by Drupen Dichen Rinpoche from Rumtek Monastery.

The inaugural ceremony was attended amongst others by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha MP, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Secretaries, DM [North], SP [North], officers from various department, monks and local dignitaries.

Upon his arrival, the Chief Minister was welcomed with a ceremonial reception by Udor Chosum at the main Monastery. Thereafter, the Chief Minister offered prayers at the main shrine.

Addressing his maiden visit to North Sikkim as the Chief Minister, Mr Tamang extended his congratulations to the people of the district and the monks of Phodong Monastery for getting a new Buddhist Circuit Building to cater to the needs of the growing number of pilgrims coming to the monastery.

Responding to the demands placed by the Omjay of Phodong Monastery regarding visit of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Sikkim, the Chief Minister informed that the Government of India has given its consent to allow the Karmapa to visit Sikkim and also assured that the Karmapa will make his maiden visit to Sikkim in the near future.

The Chief Minister appreciated the sacrifices made by the monks who went on a 707-day relay hunger strike for the same cause and thanked the Government of India for granting the Karmapa permission to visit the Himalayan state.

The Chief Minister mentioned the importance of bringing the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to the State for blessing, peace and communal harmony of the state.

Speaking on tourism, the Chief Minister said that a Buddhist Circuit Building like “Karma Topden Denkhang” plays a big role on bringing tourists from far corners of the globe.

He stated that he has seen a very high potential of tourism industry in North Sikkim and believes that the State is yet to capitalize on the full potential of the attracting tourists to the State.

He emphasized developing tourism infrastructure of highest degree to attract high class tourists in the State. A High Class Tourism Corridor will be initiated to attract more tourists throughout the region, he added.

Furthermore, Chief Minister informed that his Government plans to transform every village in Sikkim into a Smart Village and informed the gathering of the concept of “Smile Always” a gift of Rs 10 by all the tourists visiting Sikkim which will be an extra impetus to the Tourism Sector of the state.

In this context, he called the people of the state to put collective effort to promote tourism industry in the state.

The Chief Minister assured that his Government is committed to fulfill the rising aspirations of all segments of the state. In doing so, he called for the people’s constant support.

He encouraged Government employees to work together for the betterment of the society.

Additionally, he stressed that a better working culture can only be achieved through example set by the heads of department. He instructed the Government employees to duly discharge their duties with utmost sincerity and punctuality in the interest of the public.

Sangha MLA Sonam Lama, who is also the RDD Minister, recalled the struggles faced by the monk community to bring the Karmapa to Sikkim and thanked everyone who stood for this noble cause in difficult times.

Forest Minister Karma Loday Bhutia, gave an introduction to Phodong Monastery and said that the monastery was one of the oldest and most precious institutions which has become a centrepiece of tourist attraction.

He anticipated that the newly constructed Buddhist circuit building will attract more tourists in the future.

Presenting the technical report on the Buddhist Circuit House, Tourism Secretary TT Bhutia informed that this new tourism infrastructure at Phodong Monastery was constructed under the Project/ Infrastructure Development for Destination and Circuits (PIDDC) Scheme in collaboration with Tourism Department, Government of Sikkim.

The Circuit House is equipped with seven guest rooms, a lobby, dormitory, basement, cafeteria and kitchen.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister was felicitated with a portrait of Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje by the Phodong Monastery committee.

Meanwhile, eight other revered monks of Phodong Monastery were also presented citations for their contributions to the monastery.